Britain's newest listed building will open on 10 October. The dance theatre at Sadler's Wells, North London, has been built to an entirely new design by rhwl and Nicholas Hare Architects, but keeps enough elements of its predecessor - much loved although ugly and impractical - to maintain its listing. Chief executive Ian Albery described it as 'really a building of the 1990s', comparing its short gestation period with the time taken by projects such as the Royal Opera House and the Barbican Arts Centre.
But he confirmed the parlous state of the theatre's finances, caused by the Royal Opera House's sudden cancellation of its six-month lease of the theatre next summer. He called it 'a debacle of major proportions' as it would represent not only a loss of income but also of sponsorship, on which the theatre is dependent. As well as revenue funding, it still needs to raise another £4 million of the total £10 million redevelopment cost.
The theatre was holding urgent talks with the Arts Council on Tuesday, seeking funding for alternative bookings. If this could not be achieved within a few days, said Albery, the theatre would have to make 100 staff redundant and would close, possibly never to open again.
South Bank taking 'different approach' to redevelopment
Launching the coming year's events at London's South Bank Centre, the centre's chairman, Elliott Bernerd, was guarded about new plans for its redevelopment. After the failure of both the Farrell and the Rogers scheme to gain funding, 'we are now going to adopt a different approach', he said. 'We are looking at what the consumer wants - our customer base. We have been taking a lot of time to take views and consult people. We're seeking not just an architectural solution but a practical one - something that will work. Hopefully we will have something to say soon.'
Among the events announced was 'Addressing the Century: 100 years of Art and Fashion' - an exhibition at the Hayward Gallery in an installation by Zaha Hadid. The show, from 8 October to 11 January 1999, costs £7.50, tel: 0171 960 4242.
Also at the Hayward, early next summer, will be 'Cities on the Move', a show looking at the explosive growth of cities in east Asia.